Friday, December 4, 2009

Wise Words

This blog is from I read this blog almost every day and have drawn great inspiration from it. I wanted to make sure everyone who can read this blog does.

Self Exam Time
And no, I don't mean breasts. (Although you should be doing that every month anyway).

Every so often, it is good to really stop and *look* at yourself and your life, how you feel and why, and whether you are reaching your goals. December is a good time for this. Most people, near the end of the month, are bemoaning yet another year gone by with dropped resolutions. New commitment comes magically on January first, but it always seems so fleeting. Wouldn't it be better to do a self exam more often? Like, maybe several times a year? Then you don't get quite so far off track.

So here's mine.

I am 40 years old, which sometimes feels very young and sometimes feels ancient. I weight 229 pounds, which sometimes feels quite thin and other times feels humongous. I have a life filled with children, a paused career, a dog, and various hobbies, and all of this feels sometimes like an incredible blessing and other times like a huge mess. Isn't that how life is?

I feel, often, that I am doing well, comparatively speaking. Yet somewhere inside me I long to do better. What is "doing better," anyway? Well, I think it is a gradual improvement in one's state, whether that be health, happiness, productivity, or whatever other thing you have set your sights on. But what if your sights are not really set on *anything*?

Answer this:
What do you want to accomplish today?
What would you like to have done by next week at this time?
What do you think will be the same/different in one month?
What would you like to have done/changed one year from now?
What would you like your life to look like in five years? Really think about it. Five years from now, how old will you be? What will your relationships look like? Your job? Your body? Your home? In five years, describe yourself and your life... what you WANT it to be.
And then, when you have done that, go back to question #1 and tell me how what you are doing today is leading you to what you want to see in your life in five years.

It is all inextricably connected... what you do today, next week, in a year, in five years. Because five years ago I decided to get up in the morning and go to my classes, today I have a college degree. Because five years ago I decided to get up, go to work, and use the paycheck to pay my mortgage, today I have a house to live in. Because five years ago I planted a small tree in my yard, today I have a large tree with lovely blossoms that gives me great joy (well, no blossoms in winter, but I look forward to spring!) Because I fed my dog five years ago, he is still alive and healthy today. Because I decided to have sex five years ago, I have a lovely daughter today. Get it? What you do today determines your tomorrow. And your next year. And your five years from now.

You can sit and eat pizza and Big Macs and cookies today and think, "Oh, I will do something better for myself tomorrow" but the fact is that today's actions are building a path to your future. If you pave that path with Ding Dongs, your future is *not* going to be the picture of health. Every step propels you in a particular direction. Every step counts.

So, it's important to check your steps frequently to make sure you are not just going in circles, or walking to China when you wanted to go to Ireland.

My vision of five years includes: well adjusted (mostly grown) children who are still in my life, financial stability, a normal BMI, a strong body, an organized and decorated home.

My *concrete steps* for today (because making a list of to do's but never doing them is a step in the *wrong* direction) are: connect with my children in conversation this evening, stick to a budget, eat under 1700 calories of healthy foods, bike for 30 minutes, sort some stuff, and get glass for a broken frame so I can hang a picture.

If instead, my Today Steps were: be too tired to talk to my kids, spend extra money on some goofy thing I see in the store that I want, splurge on some donuts, be too tired to bike, lay around and let the clutter pile up, and forget to get the glass fixed... then, I am walking a different path that is leading away from my chosen destination. You might think that *lack* of doing something is neutral, but it isn't. A 30 minute workout is a step towards your goal, but *not* doing the 30 minute workout is *not* standing still. Lack of action is STILL A STEP. A step in the opposite direction. And goallessness is like being adrift at sea: you may not be *trying* to get anyplace specific, but you're still going to end up somewhere... and you may not like it.

So take a little time today to reflect on your steps. And make sure you're headed in the direction you really want to go.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed my post! Thanks for sharing it with others, and thank you for letting me know it was helpful :)

    Be well!